Memory Construction Misinformation and Imagination Effects Source Amnesia Discerning True and False Memories Children’s Eyewitness Recall Repressed or Constructed Memories of Abuse? Improving Memory
Forgetting An inability to retrieve information due to poor encoding, storage, or retrieval.
Encoding Failure We cannot remember what we do not encode.
Storage Decay Poor durability of stored memories leads to their decay. Ebbinghaus showed this with his forgetting curve.
Retaining Spanish Bahrick (1984) showed a similar pattern of forgetting and retaining over 50 years. Andrew Holbrooke/ Corbis
Retrieval Failure Although the information is retained in the memory store, it cannot be accessed. Tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) is a retrieval failure phenomenon. Given a cue (What makes blood cells red?) the subject says the word begins with an H (hemoglobin).
Interference Learning some new information may disrupt retrieval of other information.
Retroactive Interference Sleep prevents retroactive interference. Therefore, it leads to better recall.
Motivated Forgetting Motivated Forgetting: People unknowingly revise their memories. Repression: A defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness. Sigmund Freud Culver Pictures
Why do we forget? Forgetting can occur at any memory stage. We filter, alter, or lose much information during these stages.
Memory Construction While tapping our memories, we filter or fill in missing pieces of information to make our recall more coherent. Misinformation Effect: Incorporating misleading information into one's memory of an event.
Eyewitnesses reconstruct their memories when questioned about the event. Misinformation and Imagination Effects Depiction of the actual accident.
Misinformation Group A: How fast were the cars going when they hit each other? Group B: How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?
Memory Construction A week later they were asked: Was there any broken glass? Group B (smashed into) reported more broken glass than Group A (hit).
Source Amnesia Source Amnesia: Attributing an event to the wrong source that we experienced, heard, read, or imagined (misattribution).
Children’s eyewitness recall can be unreliable if leading questions are posed. However, if cognitive interviews are neutrally worded, the accuracy of their recall increases. In cases of sexual abuse, this usually suggests a lower percentage of abuse. Children’s Eyewitness Recall
Are memories of abuse repressed or constructed? Many psychotherapists believe that early childhood sexual abuse results in repressed memories. However, other psychologists question such beliefs and think that such memories may be constructed. Memories of Abuse
Constructed Memories Loftus’ research shows that if false memories (lost at the mall or drowned in a lake) are implanted in individuals, they construct (fabricate) their memories. Don Shrubshell
Consensus on Childhood Abuse 1.Injustice happens. 2.Incest and other sexual abuse happen. 3.People may forget. 4.Recovered memories are commonplace. 5.Recovered memories under hypnosis or drugs are unreliable. 6.Memories of things happening before 3 years of age are unreliable. 7.Memories, whether real or false, are emotionally upsetting. Leading psychological associations of the world agree on the following concerning childhood sexual abuse:
Improving Memory 1.Study repeatedly to boost long-term recall. 2.Spend more time rehearsing or actively thinking about the material. 3.Make material personally meaningful. 4.Use mnemonic devices: associate with peg words — something already stored make up a story chunk — acronyms